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Indies should move on from mobile, says Ben Cousins

Ex-DeNA designer notes growing oligopoly

Independent developers who have yet to find success making mobile games should look elsewhere, free-to-play game consultant Ben Cousins has advised.


Cousins, formerly of Japanese Mobage firm DeNA, Electronic Arts and more, compared the current state of mobile to the most top-heavy years of console gaming in a Pocket Gamer interview.

"It's been clear for several years now that mobile gaming is rapidly evolving into a later stage (similar to consoles in the late 1990s and early 2000s) where the major players take most of the revenue through highly polished products supported by large marketing investments," Cousins said.

Developers operating independently of major players like Rovio or King will struggle on mobile - unless they can secure prominent placement on the iOS App Store or Google Play, Cousins said. However, even a top featured slot does not guarantee success.

Cousins advised independent developers explore alternative avenues instead:

"I think the best move for indies would be to move to new platforms like Oculus, Google Glass, other upcoming wearable (iWatch?) or to make PC games," he said.

An April report claimed that Apple and Google are pushing for more exclusives for their mobile platforms, offering extra promotion to developers in return.